cover image A Conspiracy of Bones

A Conspiracy of Bones

Kathy Reichs. Scribner, $27 (352p) ISBN 978-1-9821-3888-2

Bestseller Reichs’s excellent 19th Temperance Brennan novel (after 2015’s Speaking in Bones) finds the forensic anthropologist at her breaking point after a series of traumatic events, including the murder of her boss, who was succeeded by a woman who regards Brennan as persona non grata; her mother’s cancer diagnosis; and the discovery that Brennan herself has a potentially fatal aneurysm. She begins to doubt her own senses when she thinks she spots a man in a trench coat lurking outside her Charlotte, N.C., home in the middle of the night, but fears that it might have just been a hallucination. She’s then rattled to receive grisly images on her phone of an eviscerated male corpse without a face. Hooked by the mystery of who sent the pictures and why, Brennan risks her professional standing by pursuing the matter, despite the opposition of Charlotte’s new medical examiner. The trail takes multiple unexpected turns as Brennan pursues leads connected to bioweapons, a ferry sinking, and the Dark Web, in this crackerjack puzzle. CSI junkies who haven’t read Reichs before will be hooked. (Mar.)